Regrets

In 2012 I was in Kandahar Afghanistan. It was my second deployment. Being a maintenance guy in country on f16s we don’t go outside the wire. We have computers and internet and ability to call home almost whenever we want. Work days could get hectic but it’s possible to find time to call home. After about 5 months one can get comfortable. Know I can call home whenever some days I just decided not to, because of pure laziness. I was 4 days from flying out of there. I figured I’d just call the day before I leave and the morning before take off and everything would be ok. But then in the middle of my sleep someone banged on my door hard. Scared the shit out of me I thought it was indirect fire that hit close. It was my buddy telling me I needed to call home. My mom picked up the phone, my dad was in the hospital and it didn’t look good. I packed a book bag and my first shirt found me a spot on a plane headed to Kuwait so I can fly to Vegas where my dad was living. Everyone worked so fast to get me out of there quickly but it didn’t matter he died before I even got out of Afghan.

I never talked to my dad, my best friend again. He never knew I made it home safe. I should have called home everyday. It’s only a couple minutes just to say hi and I loved him. I carried that cross around for a long time. Looking back now i went a little crazy. Between that and some hard time adjusting to being back home, I masked some shit with partying. Drinking coke girls anything to take my mind off it. I don’t think I really understood I was self medicating but it makes sense now. That was the biggest regret of my life, and I’ve done some dumb shit. Why the fuck didn’t I call home.

See what I’ve learned since I’ve become sober (mostly I’m prescribed marijuana but I’ll write about that another time) is you gotta let shit go. For years after I came home i was in such a fucked up place I was actually happy that my dad wasn’t here to see me like that. How fucked up is that I was actually happy my dad died. Crazy. But I’m starting to figure it out, the best thing I can do is let go of that regret and instead help my dad live on through me. Raise my son the way he raised me. My dad was always there for me I’m going to do the same for my son and daughter. I’m letting go of this regret and instead I’m gonna honor my dad in the way I live life now.

I can sit here and ramble off about 1000 regrets I have in my life. Everyone can everyone fucks up and everyone lives with some sort of guilt. But to me ranting about all the shit I fucked up is pointless. Mistakes, regrets, guilt it’s only bad if you don’t learn from it. A couple years ago, I partied like a rockstar in ac for a day and a half. I drove home fell asleep behind the wheel and wrecked my car. Couldn’t have been the worse thing to ever happen to me, and it sucked but I learned from it. I learned it’s no way to live life and that I was only hurting the people who loved me. So I stopped living that life, and became the man And father I am today. Outside of my son being born, that accident was the best thing to happen to me (that will become number 3 in feb when my daughter is born).

I’ve learned to train my mind and thing outside the box. Take what is given to me and make it better. Bad good or indifferent if learn from it and change for the good then nothing is truly bad. This is not an easy concept to learn, and I’ll most likely never perfect it, but I’ll tell you the more I learn to do it and apply it to life the happier I am. So bring it on, and I’m sure I’ll keep fucking up but I’m done making the same mistakes over and over again. I’m done carrying that load and I’m done being unhappy. I’m gonna beat regret because I’m gonna learn from it and my life and the people around me will be better for that.

In conclusion I love you dad. I made it home safe and I’ll carry on your legacy and honor through me and my kids. You’ll live on forever through us.

My Markelle Theory

The number one over all picked in the 2017 NBA Draft forgot how to shoot. Crazy isn’t it. Maybe not as crazy as it seems. There is an ongoing debate on wether this is mental or physical why he can’t shoot. Fultz’ agent or attorney whatever he is has made a hard stand that it is physical and not mental at all. I think that this point it most fans would say he is a “headcase” (which is a bullshit term referring to mental health likes it’s fucking 1920 but that’s a topic for another post).  Let’s put aside  fandom right now,  put emotions and prejudice aside and maybe come to the conclusion that it’s both, physical and mental.

Many are going to refuse to acknowledge that fultz was originally injured, that he was weak and soft and he just can’t make it in the league so he made up this “injury” last year. There is a solid chance that he may just not be good enough to play nba basketball, but I don’t believe it.  I do believe something happened to markelle’s shoulder and that the pain forced him to change his form. Whatever happen seemed like kelle was afraid to tell the team that he was hurt so instead he did what he had to do best to hide it, this really isn’t uncommon in young kids especially when there could be bad consequences.

The season starts and fultz is obviously in the national spotlight with this messed up jump shot and crazy high expectations for a 19 year old kid. When the world sees that he uncharastically “forgot” how to shoot it becomes one of the biggest and oddest stories in sports. The theories fly, espn fox sports every channel is talking fultz and his twitter mentions blow up. There were many supporting fans during this time but there was also many cruel and cynical fans that thought because they were behind a keyboard they can say all kinds of nasty things to him. After a few games they take him out’ diagnose him with some sort of shoulder injury and he is out the majority of the season.  So a quick summary, fultz is drafted first in the nba draft a real dream come true. Something happens and he hurts his shoulder. He changes his form to deal with the pain. Comes on the national stage of the nba and can’t shoot anymore and his form looks atrocious. The sports media world takes up the story, he is called a bust and a headcase and soft on national tv on almost a daily basis. Sports radio goes nuts and callers say all kinds of mean and nasty things about him. People on twitter and Instagram crush him and attack him like a bunch of cyber bullies. Pile all this bullshit on a 19 year old kid plus the fact that his dream of playing in the nba just got put on hold and possible lost forever. To me that seems like a pretty traumatic experience for a young kid. Markelle is experiencing PTSD.

I know it sounds crazy. He has never been to war or almost been blown up. But Ptsd isn’t just for veterans. Rape victims commonly have ptsd from their experience. Same with domestic violence. Pretty much anyone can developer symptoms of ptsd from a traumatic event in their life. Ptsd anxiety mental health it doesn’t discriminate. Doesn’t matter if you are Medal of Honor winner, or joe smo on the street. It doesn’t even care if you are the number 1 overall pick in the nba. For some people when they go through shit it changes them.

To me this all makes sense. As young kid when stuff like this happens it can cause serious change in your mental state. And it doesn’t mean that you can see it in everyday life. Subconsciously anxiety can be there without a person or the people around him really noticing. When we watch kelle play, what is his only flaw? Set shots and foul shots. The pull up off the screen is money. He gets to rim, runs baseline to baseline and dunks on someone. Even the 3 he hit on Zach Levine’s face. What do all these things have in common, there is no time for his brain to think, it’s all reaction. But when he is all by himself and the defender is 6 feet off him daring him to sleep, even for a split second his brain recalls that whole traumatic situation and his anxiety sets in even if he doesn’t realize it. So it’s natural for him to react when the anxiety comes and just go to what he is comfortable with, putting the ball on the floor and attacking.

So here is the biggest problem with this situation. His situation is still going to be looked at negatively, like he is soft or mentally weak. And his camp and agent and people around him refuse to acknowledge he may have some problems are nothing but enablers. The more they blame it on injury or whatever they want, the more he is never going to face the problem and the likelihood of he being well again is slim to none. By the way as someone who lives with ptsd and depression, it can cause physical pain, the brain is a crazy muscle. The saddest part about this is it’s bigger than basketball because when basketball is done for him it will only get worse in his life.

But the good thing is its beatable, I’m living proof. I went through hell and back, and now honestly I’m mentally better than I’ve ever been in my life. And I have other vets I know and talk to that have done the same thing. First step is admitting and acknowledging and then getting the help needed. And the craziest part about all this is that it’s ok to have these problems. It doesn’t make you weak or soft and if you think it does I’ll introduce you to a dozens guys and girl that deal with it that will make you look like a baby back bitch.

At the end of the day the best for him is to get better. I’m not a doctor or anything close enough to really make a firm statement. In fact I have no real credential to write this about him. I’m just going off my life experience. At the end of the day I think we all want kelle to get healthy and be ok. And honestly I hope I’m wrong. I hope it’s just an injury and physical therapy will get him back to where he needs to be. But if I’m not I hope he realizes it before it’s too late or someone around him does. As big of a Sixers fan as I am, I really don’t care if he never plays again I would love him too I just want to see him healthy before it’s too late. I’ve lost too many people and seen too many stories of suicide and drugs. I’m in no way implying that markelle does drugs or is suicidal, I just know what this kind of mental state can bring a person to do.

So markelle do what you have to do to get better. And I home at some point IF this is the problem someone around you can open your eyes and help you. and if possible get back on the court and prove all these hating ass motherfuckers wrong.

PSA I am in no way diagnosing this. I am not trying to say that this is the actual case. If the doctor says he is injured I’m not going to argue. I am just trying to give an alternate perspective. This is my opinion and my opinion only.

Today I almost cried

I’m a grown ass man. That’s my favorite saying. I think I’m pretty tough been through some shit. If you ask anyone who knows me I don’t show much emotion. Today I almost cried by myself in my car. I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I cried in my adult life. Ranging from when my dad died to when the eagles won the fucking super bowl and I picked up my son in pure joy. When my son was born he came out blue, and would cry or respond. I held back my tears and fear to stay strong for his mom. Today I tried to hold it back too but it was tough.

If you know my story, I got really banged up and wrecked my car when my son was about 3 months old. I never had a car seat for him in my own car. I never drove him to school. He has never seen me drive before. He is almost 3. Today I drove him to school, we listened to and old punk mix cd I had from high school and he had a blast. I dropped him off at school and walked out to my car like it was the norm. I sat in the car for about 3 minutes holding back tears of overwhelming joy. Then headed my way off to the gym.

Truthfully I just fed you guys a bunch of bullshit. I cried my ass off. And I’m not afraid to admit It anymore. And if you think I’m soft for doing it and admitting it, I’m 6’3″ 250, you can come find me and call me soft to my face. Lol I’ll tell you damn right I’m soft and I like it and don’t give a fuck what you think.

How the process saved my life

I’ve been through some shit. I went to war a few times, lost my dad at a young age and lost my stepdad, like a second dad to me, in recent times too. two dads gone and im only in my thirties. I live with massive amounts of regret, my dad died a week before I was supposed to come home from Afghanistan. I had every opportunity to call home that week and even that day but I was too dumb to actually do it. I never got to say goodbye. I’ve been to war twice, I spent 9 years in the military under leadership that did nothing but stress workers out and lead by fear. I’ve lost friends to drugs. I failed out of college twice. I’ve been fired from a really good job bc I’m a damn idiot. But the biggest mistake of my life may have ended up being the best thing to happen to me. I lied to my gf and my sons mom and told her I was working overnight shift ( I was supposed to but didn’t go). I did work my first overnight shift and when I was done at 7 am I stopped at my dealers house and got some cocaine. Then shit got weird. I went home for about 12 minutes made up some lie about how I needed to go back to work and instead got a room in ac. And I partied like a Rockstar. After a good 24 hour binge and the coke, money and alcohol ran out there was nothing left but shame and guilt.

So I came to the conclusion I needed to be home. I was ready to admit I had a problem with drugs and alcohol and I wanted help. But my dumbass decided to drive home. At some point I don’t remember I got off the ac expressway and was on some back road, and must have fallen asleep. I swerved and hit a brand new ford f150 head on. The guy driving was an off duty cop in that town. I was fucked. I got arrested and got the dui thing and all, but I had to call my gf to pick me up at the police station. She had to bring my 4 month old son. Obviously she wasn’t taking me home so she took me to my parents, where she told me our relationship was over, I’d never see my son again, and she was changing his last name. That last part hit me hard, that last name was on my chest for 2 wars, my dad gave me that last name, which his dad gave him, that last name was supposed to have honor on it not shame, my son was supposed to carry on that honor, but now I ruined all that.  I got dropped off at my parents, took a bunch of pills, and went to sleep with no intention of ever waking up again. Spoiler Alert, I woke up.

After that weekend things obviously needed to change. I was invited back to my house and family. But the next few weeks still a little uncertain and I messed up “relapsed”. Finally went to rehab for a week and my insurance said it wouldn’t cover it after the week I was there and sent me home. Whatever happened that week, I think it just showed me the seriousness of my action, when I came home I decided to be sober and have been sober ever since. Actually that’s a lie, later I’ll explain I battle depression and ptsd and recently I’ve been prescribed marijuana and it’s has helped so much but that’ll be another post. The battle wasn’t over, I was kicked out the guard and I lost my full time job. I became a stay at home dad, my gf was a nurse worked 3 12s and in her final 2 semesters to get her masters, so she was out of the house majority of the week. My world was completely flipped.

So what does this all have to do with “the process?” Well being at home all day long not being able to drive or go anywhere with a 4 month old baby it’ll make you go crazy. Put that on top of trying to fight the urge to drink and do drugs, I kinda slipped into a serious depression. Honestly the only reason I got out of bed in the morning was because if I didn’t my son would eat. I needed a hobby a distraction. I did the gym thing and continued to play basketball, and that helped but what about the hours I was stuck in the house. Well I dove into the process even more than I did before. I read everything I could. I followed every beat writer and basketball writer i can find on twitter. I studied potential draft picks the Sixers could get. I knew the odds to where the Sixers would land in the draft. I became completely obsessed. I haven’t missed a game since then, even if I’m not home I record it and watch it the next day. I used the Sixers who I’ve always loved, and the process of a complete distraction from real life and the shit that I did and my consequences. Truly when I say that without that and the process I would have one less crutch to help me become a better person and still be here for my son and family.

It’s crazy how far both the Sixers and I have come since then and the process. Sixers have come from 10 win season to a top 3 team in the east and potential championship team. I was the human version of a 10 win team, now I’m “sober” happy, in a position to finally graduate college in the near future and if I may brag I’m a pretty fucking good dad. And I’m alive. And the Sixers and the process played a great roll In that. So thank you to the Sixers, thank you to Sam hinkie and the process. Thank you Joel embiid. Thank you to all the writers and radio host on twitter who I commented on everything they tweeted over and over again until they finally responded and engaged in a convo when I had no one else to talk to. Thank you to my family and friends who stuck by my the whole time and let me ramble on about a terrible Sixers team all i wanted. You guys are the real mvps without all you I don’t know where I’d be.

Ps Best part about all this I get my license back soon and I’ll be taking my son to his first Sixers game this season. Life is good. Trust the process.

Boredom

So my boredom in life has taken me to start a blog. no one will read it, but I want to do it anyway. I write like I talk, I do not care about punctuation and I do not care if my language is correct. this is more of just a place to get shit off my chest and write/talk about stuff I like anomalously. so for all the people who will never read this hope you enjoy it.